Seeking to spur the conversation on innovation and smart technologies in energy and the environment, the DCSEU invited stakeholders, energy professionals and consumers to Focus on Green Technology: Building Sustainable Cities of the Future on January 24 at PNC Place.
The discussion revolved around new and innovative approaches to buildings and cities – and how to bring them to the District of Columbia – by seeking more integrated approaches and offering solutions to the most complex questions: How can we use renewables and technology to make the grid more resilient vis-à-vis more extreme weather? How to reduce carbon emissions? And what does this have to do with waste?
Jean-Marie Bergeal, CEO of MeteoViva, a German company that just made its US debut with the DCSEU’s support on American University’s Campus, talked about their approach using weather forecast data to optimize HVAC operations. “Anticipation is the name of the game”, said Bergeal. UK-based SEaB presented its internationally successful on-site waste recycling containers that turn waste into methane and water using anaerobic digestion. Its co-founder and CEO, Sandra Sassow, had the initial idea when she was with her horses wondering about what to do with the manure. “It took us six years to make our product operational,” she said. Now she is helping cities all over the world to reduce their waste – and with it related traffic and carbon emissions. And Drew Adams, Co-founder of AF Mensah, laid out his vision of integrating renewables and battery storage to resilient micro grids.
“These technologies and how they help cities to become more sustainable are truly fascinating. We hope that the DCSEU becomes a catalyst in bringing this innovation to the District,” said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU.
The final two speakers elaborated on how to integrate different technologies and measure overall building performance. Scott Tjagen, Environmental Scientist at Pepco Holdings, presented WaterShed, a solar home comprising systems such as water and waste which integrate with each other and the environment. Eric Abramson, Arc Performance Associate at USGBC, presented Arc, a platform to measure building energy and environmental performance. The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Anmol Vanamali, Director of Financing Strategies at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), exploring the challenges and trends in today’s cities. Speakers hope to see that the future brings more stringent regulation incentivizing the implementation of new technologies speeding up efficiency gains and carbon reductions.
The event was sponsored by Pepco and the DCSEU thanks MeteoViva, USGBC, A.F. Mensah, and SEaB for their participation.